New report explores how investing in digital could provide UK economy ‘£232 billion’ boost by 2040

A new major study by Virgin Media Business and Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has examined the potential impact that digital investment could have on the UK economy.

The report claims that a sustained investment in “transformative digital technologies” could help the UK GDP to grow by £232 billion by 2040. It also specifies that a digital investment in healthcare could deliver an economic boost of £33bn to the UK by 2040, and a £22 billion uplift by 2030.

The report explains that investing in digital technology could potentially unlock “new possibilities” for the NHS and social care providers, enabling them to employ resources such as virtual services, including a virtual A&E. Throughout the public sector, this will create “efficiency gains and cost-savings” that, when invested in improved services and new infrastructure, could possibly boost the economy by at least £75 billion by 2040. 

It also notes that by investing in digital there is a possibility of boosting productivity in the UK through the implementation of flexible working, improving access to services, and creating richer data for AI and analytics. The report also examined the ways in which digital working could help the UK’s economy recover post-Covid, and found that an investment in technology could boost it by £74 billion in 2025.

Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business, said, “After the toughest of years, the UK has a £232 billion opportunity ahead of it which we must now grasp with both hands. By continuing to invest in new digital ways of working, we can seize this moment and help UK businesses to bounce back better. 

“Moves to accelerate digital adoption are driving extraordinary outcomes across private and public sector organisations, helping them to revolutionise how they work, deliver for customers, and provide vital services for our communities. Through investing in our digital future, we will support new growth, drive the UK economy forward and help the country to rebound stronger.”

Cristian Niculescu-Marcu CFA, Director of Economic Analysis, Cebr, added, “The Covid challenges facing the UK and the entire world are extremely serious. The economic impacts alone fall far short of capturing the scale of the pandemic’s toll on people’s lives and wellbeing. Focusing on the economic implications however, history shows us that periods of economic hardship can help to catalyse technological progress and adoption, as businesses and other stakeholders seek to adapt to new realities. Within this research we have examined the potential economic impact of a wave of digital transformation, driven by the rollout of new ways of working and connecting. This could create an economic high road over the coming decades, helping the UK economy to grow while also having the flexibility to deal with future challenges”